5 January 2010

New York City, part 3: No sleep till Brooklyn

[Part 1 here, part 2 here]

The awesome part about traveling around a city with locals is getting to see a side of the city that tourists regularly don't. One of the stops we made was at what is by some measurements the tastiest pizza in NYC - Grimaldis, in Brooklyn. However, like nearly everything over the holiday break in NYC, epic queues are involved.

We camped in the cold for about an hour in line for (admittedly extremely tasty) pizza. However, while in line, we got to have a good long look at some fairly random street art that seems to pop up all over the place in the city.

NYC: Brooklyn: Grimaldis art 00
[I'm guessing that this is from an illustration of the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.]

NYC: Brooklyn: Grimaldis art 01

After warming up with the pizza, we headed over the Brooklyn bridge. I'd never previously understood the fascination people had with it - it's not a particularly big bridge, and the pictures of it I had seen were from a distance and seemingly not all that big a deal.

Seeing it in real life, however, corrected that error. The pedestrian walkway doesn't go on one side of the bridge - it goes right down the middle, where as you walk along you are surrounded by a spectacular net of cables.

NYC: Brooklyn: No sleep till

Once you get on to the Manhattan side, you are also afforded a spectacular view of the city. The towers of steel and glass rise incongruously from the old buildings at the foreshore, and in the afternoon light they seemed to take on a non-quite-real rendered quality.

NYC: Brooklyn: Photoreal

The Woolworth Building looms into view when you exit the bridge on the Manhattan side. As far as skyscrapers go, it's one of most splendid and held the title of being the tallest in the world from 1913 to 1930.

My uncle, who is a safety engineer, worked there in one of his first jobs checking that the elevators were safe. The job involved climbing into the dimly lit area on top of elevator cars, finding something to hold on to that wasn't going to mangle or maim you and holding on for dear life as the elevator rocketed up 57 floors, an expanding, tiny little square of light at the edge of vision representing the top of the shaft.

NYC: Brooklyn: Woolworth Building

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